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Literature, Linguistics, & Grammar: Effective Searching

Effective Database Searching



Zotero Citation Software

Citation software (also called "bibliographic software," "citation managers," or "reference managers") helps you to:

  • import citations from your favorite databases and websites.
  • build and organize, and format citations for papers.
  • take notes on articles and save them in your collection of citations.
  • save and organize pdfs, screenshots, graphs, images, and other files for your research.

SUNY Geneseo does not currently support any citation software, but Zotero is a free, open source software.  Check out the guide for getting started with Zotero.

Evalutating Resources

Think critically when using information from web pages. Consder these issues before you use a web page as a source for a research paper.

Writing Style--citations, grammar, precise writing rather than generalizations, no personal attacks rather than answering an argument.

Author--what are the author's credentials? (e.g. education, background, and employer.  What else have they published?  *Check IDS Search, Google Scholar & article databases like ProQuest, PsychInfo, or Scopus).

Read--read the information and decide for yourself. Look for synthesis -- it distinguishes research from reports.
Purpose--(look for "About us")  Any bias? Is it for commerce, to advocate, or inform?

Date--Publication or last revision date

Using IDS (Interlibrary Loan)

If you find an article in one of the library databases that doesn't have a PDF icon, click on the button to access the full text. One of two things will happen: 1) either we have access to the full text from one our databases and the article will open in a new window, or 2) a window will open with a link to request it through IDS:

Click on this link, then use your Geneseo username and password to log into IDS.  (If you haven't set up your account, you will have to fill out a brief form to do so.  You will only have to fill this out once):

Call Numbers

Uncertain of where to start searching for your call number?
Check out the floorplan for the Upper Level